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The Thin Line Between

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I watched my life go up in flames. I stood there staring, making no move to stop it. My grip tightened on my sweater, my fingers curled into a fist. I had always lived on a sliver of hope, the small voice inside me that whispered that everything’s going to be okay. But today I knew I was wrong because they would never change. I threw my crumpled up sweater on the ground and slowly made my way back home.
I welcomed my parents’ embrace when I walked through the doorway. Their concerned expressions told me everything that I needed to know. I was right. They were the ones who had slashed our car’s tires last week and today, they were the ones that set the tool shed alight. They were the ones who walked out of my life, my so-called friends and neighbours.
Every day I told myself that it wasn’t me that they were scared of, once my disease is cured, everything would be back to normal. I shut the door to my bedroom letting the darkness envelope me. I was so happy, but now I don’t even think I remember how to laugh.
A sudden flash flooded the room with light, my thoughts fading back into nothingness. I stood there with my back pressed against the door half waiting, half expecting something to happen, but I was met with nothing but silence.
I shuffled over to my window and pushed back the curtains that hung veiling me from reality. I leaned forward, the glass fogged up as my breath caught in my throat. A speeding ball of light flickered, once then twice, and fell onto the high cliffs by the forests.
At that moment in time, all I remembered was my desperation to follow it. I hadn’t realized that I had managed to find my way out into the forest until I saw a little boy.
His fluid motions were smooth and quick as he walked, towards me. His hands were cupped to catch light as if it had taken liquid form. I looked at him, a smile played at the corners of his mouth.
I don’t remember how our friendship started. We had shared a greeting, one that required no words, a silent hello. He had simply led me to the highest point of the cliff and I had followed. He had pointed up at the stars that shone bright against the darkness. “I came from there.” I didn’t respond and just nodded not wanting to scare him away.
I don’t know if it was a trick of light but for a minute he had disappeared, and reappeared just as fast. He almost…flickered, once then twice. He reached out and patted my head. “Let’s play a game.” Together we raced along the road, and jumped off the rocks. The sun had quickly rose, its rays timed our goodbyes. I snuck back into the comfort of my room and smiled.
My parents asked me about my unusual cheeriness and I told them I had met a friend. They shared a concerned glance but asked no further questions.
As the sun set, we met at our meeting spot out in the fields. He turned ready to skip off, but I stopped him. “Wait, I have something to say. It’s not a secret since everyone knows but… ” His image flickered as if to respond to my words but instead he replied, “I already know.” Then he turned and headed towards the cliff.
He pushed past the forest and into the opening by the edge of the cliff. There, was the ball of light. “This is how I came here.” He reached out his hand and gestured towards his ship. “Back where I come from we have a cure for your disease. You’ll be normal again just like the rest of us. You’ll never come back to earth though, but you’ll have me. Come. We will enter the new life together.”
I stepped towards him, my fingers reached for his. He took a step back, eyes laughing. I tensed up, what was he doing? Playing with me? I moved faster this time for his wrist, but he wasn’t there. His image flickered once, twice, and then he was back in front of me.
He looked questioning, his eyes searched my face for a response. “Come with me. You won’t have to pretend anymore.” I was eager to say yes, I took a step and then…nothing.
The world slipped away. I didn’t feel anything as I fell. The blur of the houses mixed with the lush colours of greenery. I raised my eyes to the sky feeling the rush of the wind against my face, and then… It was too late.
I stretched my fingers to the sky, searching and then he was there. My voice cracked, “Why?” He smiled, “Your name is Moonface.” A faint echo of his response. “My name is Moonface.” His image flickered once twice, and then he disappeared.




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